Hyperlocal

Gothamist Shutters Its Austin Counterpart Citing Low Nat’l Ad Interest

Screen Shot 2014-04-15 at 11.15.20 AM

Gothamist National Media, the hyperlocal news empire based in New York City, announced yesterday that their hyper-local site Austinist is officially closed.

“As an independent, bootstrapped media company, we have to run lean and mean,” Jake Dobkin, the founder and publisher of Gothamist, told Betabeat. “That means pruning the tree each year to keep it healthy and strong, and that’s what led to the Austinist decision.” Read More

YOUTUBE U.

YouTube Ads Bring In the Bucks, But Stifle Innovation

(Facebook)

Google is launching a major new ad campaign. Billboards, posters, and subway trains are being emblazoned with its imagery. Magazines are rolling off the presses with pages printed in its bright colors. Television spots are set to run against a few nationally distributed shows and against local content in a few metro areas.

It’s a pretty standard traditional media campaign, except one thing: All of this media is advertising YouTube. Read More

Social Media

Mad Genius Creates Ello, the Elegant Anti-Facebook

Paul Budnitz — exhibiting photographer and filmmaker, artist, designer toy maker, bicycle enthusiast. Add: social media magnate?

For tech entrepreneurs and investors, a social network is the great white whale of startups. Successful ones scale hard and fast, generating mountains of precious user data for advertising clients.

Paul Budnitz, an artist and designer toy maker, thinks that kind of marketer exploitation is downright evil, and has organized a supergroup of artists, programmers, and designers to build a safe haven. It’s called Ello, and it’s a social network with a manifesto. Read More

Baby I Can Drive Your Car

Black Car App Courts Customers By Offering On-Board Tarot Card Readings

Shuffling the tarot cards.

What do you do when you’re a black car service in NYC, and you want to get popular enough to seriously compete with Uber? You tell your riders they can literally have anything they want inside their hired cars.

That was the strategy, at least, for Gett, the upscale rideshare app that debuted in NYC last August. To get their name out there, the company yesterday launched the day-long #GettAnything campaign, which allowed riders to request any and all forms of en-route entertainment — as long as it’s not illegal — and have Gett attempt to fulfill their wildest wishes. Read More